Ride-hailing major Ola has posted a loss before tax of Rs 838.94 crore on a consolidated basis for the financial year 2020-2021, a sizable improvement from a loss before tax of Rs 2,213.95 crore in the financial year 2019-2020, regulatory filings show.
This improvement is however due to lower expenditure as the company’s total expenses went down by 65 percent to Rs 1,468.96 crore in FY21 from Rs 4,206.5 crore in FY20.
Ola’s advertising and sales promotions expenses saw a major 72 percent dip to Rs 135.36 crore while employee costs reduced by 27 percent to Rs 436.33 crore in FY21. Other expenses also declined by 71 percent to Rs 897.3 crore in FY21 from Rs 3,120.8 crore in FY20.
With ride-hailing being one of the key sectors facing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ola’s total revenue declined to Rs 1,039 crore on a consolidated basis in FY21, a 62 percent decline from Rs 2,721 crore in FY20.
Ola’s consolidated numbers include the financials of its cab-leasing arm Ola Fleet Technologies and fintech subsidiary Ola Money.
On a standalone basis, Ola said it posted a profit before tax of Rs 76.3 crore in FY21, as compared to a loss of Rs 807.7 crore in FY20. This was due to a 75 percent reduction in its overall expenses, driven by a 63 percent reduction in its advertising and sales promotions expenses which stood at Rs 32.39 crore for FY21, as compared to Rs 88.15 crore in FY20.
The company’s total income also saw a 63 percent decline to Rs 772.68 crore in FY21, from Rs 2,073.02 crore in FY20.
Over the past year, the Bengaluru-based firm has diversified its operations as it gears up for a public market debut and its core ride-hailing business recovers from the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2021, Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal had said that the company’s gross merchandise value (GMV) had crossed the pre-pandemic levels for the week leading up to August 31, with the recovery from the second COVID-19 wave being three times faster than the first wave.
“10 million people used Ola for the first time ever in FY21. As people move, they want to feel safe so they're switching to personal or shared mobility instead of public transport. Many are moving to Autos taking our Auto business to almost 150% of pre-covid levels,” Aggarwal said on Twitter.
Ola also recently started a vehicle commerce business Ola Cars that currently offers pre-owned vehicle sales in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad among others. On October 21, the company claimed that it has sold 5,000 pre-owned cars in its first full month of operation and plans to hire 10,000 people for this business.
Ola is also planning to re-enter the hyper-competitive food and grocery delivery space, Moneycontrol reported on October 29 . The firm has set aside a budget of Rs 250 crore for the grocery delivery business with a mandate to start this division by mid-November. It also plans to set up 300 dark stores for grocery and convenience delivery by January just ahead of its $2 billion IPO, which is being timed for February.
That said, the company recently witnessed the exit of its Chief Financial Officer Swayam Saurabh and Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Porwal, Moneycontrol exclusively reported on October 19 .
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